We outline what we know about Windows 9 release date, Windows 9 price and Windows 9 features.
It's fair to say that Windows 8 has not been a universal success. In many ways a necessary step not terribly well executed, Windows 8's attempt to stitch together desktop and mobile has been way too radical to encourage new users. And as the longer life of existing PCs and laptops combines with the growth of smartphones and tablets to continually slow PC sales, Window 8 has come to be seen as a dud. This means two things: expect a new and improved Windows in the fastest possible time, and expect it to be called 'Windows 9'. It's unlikely there will be a Windows 8.2, and there definitely won't be a Windows 8.3
Here we outline what we know about the Windows 9 release date, based on Microsoft communications and credible rumours. We'll also take a look at our analysis of what we expect Windows 9 to cost, as well as listing the features we expect to see in Windows 9.
We will of course update this piece as we know more.
Windows 9 release date
We expect Windows 9 to launch in PCs, laptops, tablets and phones that you can buy in the spring or summer of 2015.
A leaked document, obtained my Myce.com, shows some interesting details about Windows 9, including the 'fact' that the Preview version is scheduled for release between "Q2-Q3 2015". This means the official launch is unlikely to be in April 2015 as previously thought. The Q2-Q3 window is huge, of course, and the Preview could therefore appear any time between April and September 2015. It's possible there will be Christmas 2015 launch to consumers and, given that everything never goes to plan with a new Windows launch, we wouldn't be surprised if you can't buy a new laptop, PC or tablet with Windows 9 until then.
The document has a section detailing 'update items' which include changes to the Metro UI (Microsoft still calls the modern UI Metro internally, apparently), Windows Defender, OneDrive and improved Windows activation. There's also a mention of Cortana, Windows Phone 8.1s personal assistant, which could mean it's coming to Windows 9
Windows Phone 9
Talking of Cortana, the document also mentions Windows Phone 9, which is tagged alongside Windows 9 for a Q2-Q3 Preview release. We're only just seeing new smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1 - the first version to feature Cortana - but in a year's time Windows Phone 8 will be consigned to the history book. Let's just hope that existing hardware will be upgradeable and that owners don't end up in the same situation as Windows Phone 7 buyers did.
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